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FG budgets N18bn for Bayelsa, Kogi, Imo elections – Minister

Ahead of the three off season gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo States, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, has said that N18 billion would be provided for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to support them in the conduct of the elections.


The Minister disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the Council meeting, presided over by President Bola Tinubu at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, “equally N18 billion was provided for the Independent National Electoral Commission to support them in the conduct of the Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo elections”, he said.

Bagudu also noted that a total sum of N2.1 trillion has been approved by Federal Executive Council as Supplementary Budget for the year 2023, the second this year as he explained that out of the proposed amount, N605 billion would be spent on national defence and security, while about N300 billion would be spent on the maintenance of bridges.

Speaking further at the State house, Bagudu disclosed that N210 billion would go for the payment of wage awards to civil servants and N400 billion for cash transfers to vulnerable households and that an N100 billion provision was made in the budget proposals as infrastructure support for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He added that another N800 billion had been budgeted for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the off-season governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states, according to a report by Vanguard.

Meanwhile, another provision of N8 billion was included in the supplementary budget for the take-off of the newly created ministries such as the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, the Minister said.

Relatedly, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has disclosed that 5,169,692 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) had been collected in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi, ahead of the November 11 governorship elections in the three states.

This was contained in a statement by the commission’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun in Abuja, on Monday night.

According to the statement, the number of uncollected PVCs in the three states was 239,746.

He said, “the breakdown for the three States indicates that out of 1,056,862 registered voters in Bayelsa, 1,017,613 have collected their PVCs and 39,249 are uncollected.

“In Imo State, the number of registered voters is 2,419,922 out of which 2,318,919 have collected their PVCs and 101,003 are uncollected.

“In Kogi State, out of 1,932,654 registered voters, 1,833,160 have collected their PVCs, leaving 99,494 uncollected,” he said.

According to Olumekun who said the commission met on Monday to review the ongoing preparations for the off-cycle governorship elections in the three states, the detailed information on the PVCs had been uploaded to the commission’s website

He added that the comprehensive information includes distribution of the polling units by local government areas, registration areas/wards, the names of the polling units, their code numbers, number of registered voters and the number of collected as well as uncollected PVCs.

“Equally significant, the list provides the names and locations of the two polling units in Bayelsa and 38 in Imo without registered voters,” he said, while appealing to stakeholders to note the information.

“Any vote from a polling unit in excess of the number of PVCs collected amounts to over voting.

“The number of PVCs collected shall be used for the computation of the margin of lead principle,” Olumekun said.

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